Your Painful Heel Could Mean a Visit to the Podiatrist

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Pain on the bottom of your foot, whether sharp or dull that lingers for days or weeks deserves a visit to the podiatrist. Heel pain can interfere with your ability to do the activities you love and become chronic, making simple tasks such as standing or walking uncomfortable or impossible.

A visit to the podiatrist may help you resolve it before it becomes chronic and debilitating.

Symptoms of heel pain

You should see a podiatrist if you have a sharp pain at the bottom of your heel. It might be most intense when you first wake up in the morning or when you stand up from a chair after a period of inactivity.

The pain feels like a knife stabbing your heel at first, then becomes a dull ache over the course of the day. If you’re active – in running or playing sports – the pain may fade during your activity, only to return with a vengeance later in the day or the next morning.

Causes of heel pain

A common cause of heel pain is plantar fasciitis, a strain of the ligament that supports your arch. Plantar fasciitis often develops due to overuse, such as lots of running or wearing shoes that are unsupportive or too tight. Flip-flops, high heels, and worn-out tennis shoes are often to blame.

A heel spur, which is a growth of bone on the front part of the heel bone, is another common cause of heel pain. A spur forms when the plantar tendon pulls away from its attachment to the bone and a calcified spur forms. Causes include wearing worn-out or poorly fitting shoes, carrying excess weight, running on hard surfaces, or gait abnormalities.

Heel pain can also develop due to warts or cuts or cracks that just don’t heal.

Help from a podiatrist

We can evaluate your heel pain to find the cause. If you have an underlying problem such as a flat foot or a bunion, heel pain may just be a secondary symptom caused by the irregular gait these structural problems cause. A podiatrist can treat bunions or flat foot, and your heel pain disappears along with the primary structural issue.

If you have plantar fasciitis, going for a long time without treatment only prolongs your pain – it takes longer to heal the longer you allow it to fester. We can advise you how to amend your activity temporarily to reduce symptoms and let your heels rest. They can also help you find shoes that fit properly, so you don’t aggravate heel pain. In some cases, you might benefit from orthotics or other custom inserts.

Podiatrists can also remove warts or help heal abrasions, blisters, cracks, and sores that aren’t healing because of a compromised immune system.

1 Comment

  1. Thanks for pointing out how a podiatrist could help you feel pain relief over chronic or acute foot pain. I’m worried about my girlfriend, who decided to pick up cycling lessons so she can participate in a tournament next year. I think she should consider looking for a heel pain specialist if she experiences any discomfort during training.

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